The Ramayana was an epic Hindu saga that portrayed a love story between Rama and Sita.
The Ramayana was dated to one of the old ancient saga of the Hindu culture, its known to occur almost around the BCE time. The story follows Rama the King of Ayodhya saving his wife Sita, the daughter of King Janaka from being abducted by a demon named Ravana. Rama obtains help through a group of monkeys and his brother Laksmana, Rama’s brother to find Sita. Ravana and Rama have a battle amongst each other and Rama obtain victory, and rescues Sita. Although Rama and Sita faced multiple challenges in their relationship their love for one another stayed unchangeable. But due to moral values and his honor of being the King of Ayodhya he did not take Sita back to be his wife right away because she was abducted by another man, although she did remain pure and only Rama’s. Sita was devastated by the denial of Rama and makes a decision to through herself in the fire, but the God of Fire protects her, which makes Rama come to a realization that her purity is still intact.
Throughout time there have been multiple ways in which Sita reunion with Rama after Ravana’s defeat is narrated and interpreted. R.K Narayan writes this version of the Ramayana to portray the modern day readers, in order for them to have a broader and less descriptive understanding of the Ramayana because the original copy had about 24,000 stanzas. The Hindu Myth of the Ramayana has been well spread to multiple countries besides India. Some of which include: Thailand, China, Japan, Nepal, and many more countries. These countries translated the Ramayana into there own language and along with the change of language, some have even changed the plot or added a twist to the storyline. These changes were either affected negatively or positively for the Hindu community. With time evolving and generations changing the way the in which the episode of Sita’s and Rama’s reunion has evolved portrayed either a negative controversy or a positive aspect of the Ramayana.
There have been multiple version of Sita’s reunion with Rama after Ravana’s defeat. The movie created by Nina Paley “Sita Sings the Blues” created multiple controversies because it was portrayed in a disrespectful and negative manner of the Ramayana. Within the film, it showed the most graphic images of Rama kicking Sita and another image showing Rama walking on Sita with a pregnant stomach after the rescue of Sita. Throughout the animated movie, there were multiple scenes in which there were false representations of what had actually happened. For example, when Hanuman returns after seeing Sita and tells Rama the condition she is in, Rama faints. This doesn’t occur in the actual Ramayana and Rama was a strong undefeatable man, a demon wouldn’t scare him.
Another example that interrupted “Sita Sings the Blues” to be disrespectful was the way Sita was dressed because she was exposed more than a woman in that time period would be. Since it was a religious myth its considered to be morally wrong to demonstrate a movie in a negative aspect. Due to the animated movie, protesting occurred because of the disrespect it portrayed towards the Hindu religion and belief of Rama and Sita. Once Sita has rescued it showed in the animated movie that Rama kicks Sita into the agnipariksha, but in the version written by R.
K Narayan Sita doesn’t get kicked into the fire by Rama, Sita herself enters the agnipariksha. This was considered to be one of the most negative ways in which the episode of Sita’s reunion with R?ma after R?va?a’s defeat. The question started to arise on whether or not their people should be required permission to write newer versions of the Ramayana. The “Sita Sings the Blues,” was overall a disrespects to the beliefs of Hindu culture and religion.
Sita was an idealized woman in the Hindu culture and these were some of the challenges mostly every Indian girl faced back in time. Some of the challenges include; getting married at a young age, having kids young, listening to what the husband says, and not having the right to speak. But now the time has change to be very modern and intellects a more modern change. Throughout not only has the episode of Sita’s reunion with R?ma after R?va?a’s defeat has been idealized as the virtual of beliefs, but it has also brought out the differences of the old age literature and the modern day literature. “The Questions Return” by Vijaya Dabbe focuses on the modern feminist aspect of literature. Vijaya Dabbe mentions in her poem, “The Ashoka tree spread its shade. There was your own brimming sorrow and time enough.
What more did you want? Sita, why didn’t you speak?” (Dabbe, p.1) Vijaya wanted to hear the voice of Sita, which is why in her poem she addresses questions, asking “Sita why didn’t you speak?” the Author Dabbe wanted to contextualize the Sita and her viewpoint on the struggles she faced through her abduction. Vijaya Dabbe demonstrates a more feminist aspect of the story, the focus point isn’t Rama, its Sita in her modern literature. Another the way in which this episode has been narrated and interpreted through the ages is the modern graphic novel by Samhita Arni and Moyna Chitrakar called the “Sita’s Ramayana.” The modern graphic novel was more interpreted for children, it was for their understanding and teachings. The story is defined by graphics and captions throughout the book, not only does it give a textual concept of the book, but it also gives a visual aspect of the book.
In the Hindu culture, the stories of both Ramayana and Mahabharata are told to children a young age. This is because they are taught the values and beliefs through the use of these myths. The episode of Sita’s reunion with R?ma after R?va?a’s defeat was defined as broad versus it being very detailed compared to R.K Narayan version of the Ramayana. In the book Sita’s Ramayana after Sita’s reunion with R?ma after R?va?a’s defeat she says, “I thought the end of the war had meant freedom for me. I had hoped for a love I had hoped for justice. That was not to be.
Instead of love, I found suspicion. Instead of justice, I met with false accusations and distrust.” (Chitrakar) This quote from the book demonstrates what Sita had felt, while the others novels focused more on the third person point of view. In the book Sita’s Ramayana it is more of a commentary novel compared to a detailed descriptive novel. Samhita Arni and Moyna Chitrakar narrated and interpreted a more modern day visual for children to understand on an easier level. There have been multiple versions of the Ramayana the interpret and narrate the Sita’s reunion with R?ma after R?va?a’s defeat.
Some show the feminist side of the ending, others portray a negative controversy, and others just want to continue to teach children the Hindu beliefs through the use of graphic novels. Throughout time not has the concept of the Ramayana changed, but it has become a broader.